on libertarian politics, slipping on the ice, and dying misunderstood

It’s icy here in Michigan. It’s been raining and freezing all day long. Walking around outside this evening, almost slipping and breaking my neck several times, I had a revelation. It’s not scientific. It’s just anecdotal. Take it for what it’s worth… Ron Paul supporters don’t clear their sidewalks… Draw from that what conclusions you will about Libertians.

Also, I will tell you that there’s nothing more exhilarating than slipping on the ice-covered rocks alongside railroad tacks at the very moment you hear a train whistle blowing around the bend.

OK, as long as we’re talking about walking on icy sidewalks and the like, I should mention that it’s especially bad when you have OCD. At least that’s been my experience. I can’t take a step on an icy sidewalk without imagining my head being impaled on any number of nearby objects. Every step I take, I imagine slipping and begin looking around wildly for the most deadly item to crush my head into. I must have thought about slipping tonight and popping out eyeballs on one hundred different posts, fences, sticks and jagged rocks. Crossing the train tracks, I kept imaging that I’d slip, fall, and knock myself out on one of the rails. The train, of course, would come along soon enough to sever my head from my body. And everyone would assume that I’d done it on purpose. That’s the part that pissed me off the most. I could accept dying in a freak accident — I just wouldn’t want anyone thinking that I’d done it on purpose without leaving a note, saying goodbye, etc.

[Having written this, I’m beginning to wonder if maybe Spalding Gray, another guy with OCD, really just slipped and fell off a boat… So it goes.]

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  1. egpenet
    Posted December 9, 2007 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    1 – As a proud Libertarian (of sorts) … I am loathe to speak for other Libertarians.

    2 – I salted my side porch and a pathway to my own vehicles and left the rest of the world to its own devices.

    3 – I suspect that other Libertarians did the same, working to some extent WITH Nature, rather than to alter natural circumstances to suit their fancy.

    4 – We work on the principle that the ice will melt sooner or later and that we have other profitable things we can do as it does so in good time … like read the NYT OpEd from a UofM professor on why there is absolutely no difference between white and black IQ potential, other than equal opportunity and the other aspects of our social environment that are systemically geared to INSIST otherwise.

  2. mike d
    Posted December 10, 2007 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Hmm; maybe (on second thought definitely not).

    But the more scathing criticism might be to say that without libertarians and their awful industrious ways we wouldn’t have sidewalks in the first place and wouldn’t need to salt them. Nobody slips on grass no matter how icy it is.

  3. LiberTerry
    Posted December 10, 2007 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    It’s not my problem if you weren’t prepared to walk on the ice.

  4. Citizen Blogger
    Posted December 10, 2007 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Don’t worry, Mark, I’ll be clearing the sidewalks on your block in the future. After all, I just bought the house next to yours for a feedlot, and the house on the other side for a slaughterhouse, and I wouldn’t want my cattle to slip and fall on their way from the one to the other – because of meddling bureaucrats, I’m not allowed to sell meat from the downers. Please note that if any of them fall in your yard, I will most certainly be charging you for them. I will also be charging you for lost productivity for the time it takes me to write you up an invoice for the downers in your yard. If you can prove they have mad cow, I will also charge you for stealing my prions.

    See how effective the invisible hand is: not only will I keep your sidewalk clear but I will also provide you with all the meat and prions that you need.

    Additionally, I will soon be taking over your security needs. With the rifle range I’m setting up in the lot across the alley, robbers won’t dare come near your house, on bicycle or otherwise. (Feel free to put up additional straw bales on your side of the alley if you feel the paper targets I’ve set up don’t quite capture all of the bullets. At your cost, of course.)

    Honestly, Mark, I don’t know what you have against Libertarians. Without us, you’d be without clear sidewalks, home security, meat, and that lovely mosaic of lightly used ammunition embedded in your kitchen wall!

  5. Posted December 10, 2007 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I laughed till I cried, especially after our recent conversation.
    also, as I managed to fix the snow-blower a friend gave me I found
    it difficult to just do my own driveway and ended up doing both of my neighbors and the entire sidewalk around my neighborhood!
    I think you may be right about poor Spalding.

  6. Posted December 10, 2007 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    My sidewalks are always nicely edged and well shoveled in the winter.

    Draw from that what conclusions you will about Edwards backers.

  7. Andy C
    Posted December 10, 2007 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I tried walking the dogs last night and turned back after one block because of the ice.
    I thought I was being good shoveling the snow from my sidewalks only to end up with ice. My neighbors who DIDN’T shovel the snow actually had walkable sidewalks after the ice hit. Now that is letting nature regulate it self.

    As for our Ron Paul supporting neighbors, I love their Gadsden flag. It says more these days than our traditional flag ever could.

  8. John on Forest
    Posted December 10, 2007 at 6:28 pm | Permalink


    this post of yours looks strangely like a suicide note to us all.

    Long, short, short, long is the train whistle to listen for.

  9. egpenet
    Posted December 10, 2007 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Long before you hear the whistle, if you lay your ear on either track, you can hear the train a’comin’.

    DO NOT use your tongue on the track to listen for train.

  10. mark
    Posted December 10, 2007 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Is it suicidal to say publicly that Ron Paul supporters don’t shovel their sidewalks? Is there a mob forming somewhere in town as I write this?

  11. Ol' E Cross
    Posted December 10, 2007 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Funny. When I stepped out on the slippery front walk, my first thought was, “dear, God, I hope Mark doesn’t try to go out in this stuff … that poor guy’ll crack his head open.”

    And, why would anyone shovel their walk? That just makes it all the easier for the ATF to get to your front door.

  12. egpenet
    Posted December 10, 2007 at 10:26 pm | Permalink


    Spoken like a true Davidian.

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